Get started as a litter picker

There's lots of litter picking opportunities across Barnsley that you can get involved in. To make sure you feel as supported as possible we've put together a helpful guide on how to get started.

Where to volunteer

Our ward alliances and area councils arrange litter picks. Take a look at their social media pages if you'd like to volunteer.

You may also want to litter pick at our parks and green spaces.

If you want to know which ward your area is in, take a look at our ward profile map.

Organising a litter picking event

When planning a litter-picking event, it’s important to consider the location, access to resources, how you'll promote the event, what you'll do with the waste you have collected, and whether you have permission from the landowner.

Promoting a litter-picking event

If you’d like us to share your litter picking events you can tag the Everybody Think Facebook page

You should also think about contacting local community groups and volunteering groups in the surrounding areas to see if they would like to be involved.

How to access resources

What are purple bags?

In Barnsley, any litter collected by volunteers litter must be placed in a purple bag rather than a bin bag. Placing your rubbish in one of our purple bags will allow our teams to know it’s from a litter pick. Purple bags can be placed out for collection near any visible street bin.

How do I request purple bags and equipment?

If you need to request some purple collection bags or equipment for your litter pick, please contact your local area team.

You can find the details of how to do this on our ward alliances and area councils webpage. 

What to do with the waste you've collected

If you've done or are going to be doing a litter pick, you can ask us to remove the bags of litter you've collected by filling in our online form below. This includes purple bags.

We aim to collect rubbish from litter picks within two working days.

The Great British Spring Clean

The Great British Spring Clean and Great Big School Clean 2023 will take place from 17 March to 2 April. You can pledge to pick up a bag of litter.

If you're a community group, school, business, or with family and friends, we want you to get involved in some way to make a difference. Every bag of litter collected helps us on our journey towards creating a cleaner, greener more sustainable Barnsley.

As part of our ‘Everybody Think’ campaign, we help to showcase the great work carried out across the event. Our Area teams facilitate this by loaning litter picking equipment out, if required. They can also support with arrangements for purple bags to be collected.

We;re supporting the Great British Spring Clean 2023

How to get involved

You can contact your local area team to find out what litter picks are happening in your area. Anyone is welcome to any litter pick and purple bags and equipment will be provided where possible.

Share your litter-picking stories with our Everybody Think Facebook page, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

Find out more about the Great British Spring Clean or make a pledge today

Upcoming litter picks

Central Area

Date Time Name Details Area
Monday 20 March 9am to 2pm Big Park Tidy Up DVCP, meeting in the main car park Central
Tuesday 21 March 9am to 2pm The Gilroyd Blitz Starting at Green Lane and Saville Road Dodworth
Wednesday 22 March 9am to 2pm The Big Kingstone Clean Up Meeting on Princess Street and Park Road Kingstone
Thursday 23 March 8am to 3pm Supporting Worsbrough Tidy Group To be confirmed Worsbrough
Friday 24 March 9am to 11am Stairfoot Split Blitz Trans Pennine Trail, meeting at the entrance opposite Tesco's Stairfoot
Friday 24 March 12pm to 2pm Stairfoot Split Blitz Ardsley Deep Clean, meeting at Old Doncaster Road Stairfoot
Saturday 25 March 10am to 12pm 5-1-9 Event 

Five starting points, 1 end destination.

Starting points: Ward Green Baptist Church, Allen Dale shops, Worsbrough Common Community Centre, Kendray Central Park, Cemetry main entrance gates.

End destination: Bluebell Bank play area, S70 4NL.

For for information call (01226) 772 069.

Monday 27 March 9am to 2pm Oakwell Blitz Meeting at the top of the BFC overspill car park Central
Wednesday 29 March 9am to 2pm Big Kingstone Clean Up part 2 Meeting on Farrar Street, Summer Lane Kingstone
Thursday 30 March 8am to 3pm Bank End Blitz Meeting at Bank End Avenue Worsbrough
Friday 31 March 9am to 2pm Vida/Fives Blitz To be confirmed Stairfoot

Dearne Area

Date Time Details
Wednesday 22 March 10am Frederick Street, Albert Road, Poplar Avenue, Wellington Street and Princess Road.
Tuesday 28 March 1pm Barnburgh Lane
Wednesday 29 March 10am Dearne Road and BODVAG flower beds

The above events include litter picking, weeding, sweeping and tidying up.

North Area 

Date Time Details
Tuesday 21 March 9am Mapplewell Village Hall site maintenance
Tuesday 21 March 1.45pm Fosters Bakery footpath
Thursday 23 March 9.30am Wilthorpe park tree planting
Friday 24 March 10.30am Whaley Road footpath

Penistone Area 

Date Time Details
Wednesday 22 March 9.30am to 12pm Springvale community gardens
Wednesday 22 March 1pm to 3.30pm Penistone Boundary Walk

The above events include strimming, edging, litter picking and tidying up.

For more information on any of the above events, email 

Things you might need to tell us about 

You might come across things you need to tell us about when you're out on your litter pick. We deal with all aspects of environmental crime, such as graffiti, fly-tipping, and dog fouling. Our aim is to keep the borough clean and tidy and improve residents perceptions of the communities they live in.

What to do if you see fly-tipping

Dumping rubbish or unwanted items in the street or on open land – fly-tipping – is illegal.

If you see some fly-tipping on your litter pick you should report it to us.

Find out more about fly-tipping and how to report it to us.

What to do if you come across a build-up of litter

We provide litter bins in public places and clean streets regularly to avoid a build-up of litter. 

We also organise clean-up campaigns with community groups, ward alliances and area councils and work with schools to make children aware of the problems caused by littering.

Find out how to report a problem with litter and view our litter cleansing schedule.

Business waste responsibilities

Find out more about business waste responsibilities.

Other things you might need to tell us about

Keeping in touch with others

There’s lots of ways you can keep in touch with other volunteers and share information.

Police and communities together (PACT) meetings

PACT meetings are an opportunity to speak and raise any issues you have in your community with council staff, the Police, and partners. You can help to shape plans for your area.

Find out more about PACT meetings

Barnsley's Environmental Forum

Barnsley’s Environmental Forum is made up of volunteers from across the borough working to:

  • Look at how we can all contribute to improving our local environments and create a more sustainable Barnsley.
  • Create two-way conversations around environmental issues.
  • Co-produce new materials to support volunteers and reduce environmental crime.

Our volunteers have helped us to design this webpage to support other's to get started. If you'd like to know more about the environmental forum, email us at

Barnsley's Environmental Forum

Share your story

We’d love to hear your volunteer stories and share the results of your litter-picking and volunteering events.

Photos and case studies can be sent in to the Everybody Think Facebook page. You can let us know things like, how many people took part, how long you picked litter for and how many bags were collected.

Kath's story

'Since retiring I have the time and energy to help keep my area tidy. I've lived in Worsbrough all my life and I enjoy keeping the area as it was - a joy to walk in and explore. I've worked with schools to also encourage them to look after their environment and be proud to live here by not dropping litter and recycling.'

Kath Evans, Worsbrough Tidy Group.

Kaths story - Worsbrough Tidy Group

Other volunteering opportunities 

Find out about other ways you can volunteer in Barnsley:

Sofa, coffee cup, volunteers hands, a banana skin and a bag a litter